The Internet and the Law

The Internet and the Law

The wired world that is the internet can be a very anonymous place for those who chose to operate behind the veil of their computer screens and as many internet marketers like to say, you really can be anything and anyone you choose to be online. The way in which some internet users choose to be anonymous online isn’t quite in line with the law however, which brings into focus the internet, law and how the law applies to the internet.

Political Boundaries Rule

It’s perhaps an over-simplified way of putting it, but fundamentally the laws that govern any and all activities online are the very same laws which govern physical legal jurisdictions, most of which are separated and defined by political boundaries. In other words, you and your friend could be standing just two metres away from each other, each holding a laptop or other internet connected device in your hands, but what each of you is allowed to do online with your respective devices could be totally different. Depending on the laws of the countries (or states / territories) over which the political boundary you and your friend are separated by, one of you may be allowed to gamble online for instance while the other isn’t, even though you’re only two metres away from each other. This sort of puts things into perspective, in the grander scheme of things, doesn’t it? It should certainly compel some thoughts about just what it is we aim to achieve as the human race since some of these technicalities surrounding the laws by which we’re governed are really quite daft.

Anyway, the bottom line is political boundaries fundamentally govern the laws of what we are and aren’t allowed to do online, so it really just depends on where you are while you’re using the internet.

Difficult to Enforce

Since the internet is like a vast invisible but very significant ether which is all around us but can’t be touched physically, it’s really difficult to enforce the laws governing what we are and aren’t allowed to do online. Some hackers who live in Romania or China are safe from the not-so-long arm of the U.S. law as long as they don’t step onto U.S. soil, for example, while a proven identity thief will likely get arrested wherever the authorities can reach them, for instance. Bring in that element of anonymity into the mix and it gets that much more difficult to enforce any laws governing the internet, no matter how well they’re documented.

For the average consumer and user of the internet however, fortunately the legal field is catching up really quickly to the internet and to the enforcing of the law online. Through the likes of Stanton Fisher financial claims can be lodged online, but this goes back to the physical political boundaries which govern the rule of law, of which the wired world of the internet is but just a conduit.

The standardisation of internet law still has a long way to go however, but we’re headed in the right direction with the likes of Stanton and Fisher.

Share This